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How to Steam Live Maine Lobster

Maine Lobster

To steam lobster, you will need a steaming pot large enough to fit the lobsters comfortably.  If you don’t have a pot with a steamer basket, you can also use an upside-down metal colander at the bottom of a large stock pot.

Pour in about 2 inches of cold water, then add some Maine sea salt. Cover and bring to a boil.

Whether it is believed lobsters experience pain or not, killing the lobster just before cooking is preferred. Some chefs believe that lobster’s muscles toughen with the shock of hitting boiling water or steam. A method commonly used is to put the lobster in the freezer for about 15 minutes before cooking, this will put them to sleep. Then simply remove the bands and place the lobster in the pot. The other option is to place the tip of a large, heavy knife at the cross marks on the back of a lobster's head. In one quick motion cut down through the head to the cutting board.

When the water is boiling, quickly add the lobsters to the pot and cover. Steam the lobsters until cooked through. Use the chart below for suggested cook times.

Cook Times

Number of Lobsters Size Cook Time
1 1.0lb 8 Minutes
1 1.25lb 9 Minutes
1 1.50lb 11 Minutes
1 2.0lb 13 Minutes
1 2.5lb 15 Minutes
1 3.0lb 17 Minutes


Multiple lobsters cooked together may require additional cooking time. Take care to ensure they are cooked through.  A quick test is to tug on one of the antennae when your cooking time is complete if it pops off easily, your lobster is ready.

Remove the lobsters from the pot and set them aside for several minutes to rest. Transfer the lobsters to plates and serve with butter and lobster claw crackers.

Butter: (In Maine it’s pronounced buttah)

Place the butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let it boil for about 1 minute then set it aside to let it settle. The milk solids will come to the top of the butter and the watery whey will settle on the bottom. With a spoon, skim the milk solids off the top. Using a ladle, scoop the butter into a serving bowl or small ramekin, taking care not to include the whey at the bottom.

Lobster - the whole family will love it.

Girl Holding Lobster


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How to Boil Live Maine Lobster

How to Boil Live Maine Lobster


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